December 20, 2008

Whirlwind Iowa Trip, part 2~ Family


We arrived at Firehand's cousin's home around 2:30 PM and the holiday festivities were already in full swing. Everyone was just finishing lunch and Santa and his Elf were there visiting with all the young ones. After he left, it was time for all the kids to open gifts.

There was restrained order as every kid got to open a gift at a time around and around the circle, according to Great-Grandma's direction, while the adults looked on...

Once all the children's gifts were opened, chaos reigned. Below, Firehand is looking a little shell shocked from all the uproar.

The kids retreated to the play room and then the adults played a word game and had our grab bag gift exchange. All in all there were 19 adults and 8 children there for the day's celebration!

I got to make the acquaintance of one very special little boy, my newest nephew, now 5 months old, and as cute as can possibly be. He's feeling mighty sleepy in Grandpa's lap in this picture.

The festivities began to disband around 8 PM. We discovered our car was stuck in the mud, and all the men in the family tromped out into the wet and cold to solve that problem for us. Then off to the hotel for some quiet time with MIL, FIL, SIL and nephews before bed.


Off to the holiday gathering at Grandpa & Grandma E's. Grandma (and helpers) had been cooking up a storm and we enjoyed beef with homemade noodles, her fabulous apple salad and all sorts of other good food for lunch. And off course we got our traditional plate of cookies and bucket of caramel & cinnamon popcorn to take with us when we left.

It was a much smaller gathering on this day, the only children being our 2 nephews, plus 10 adults. Still, that quite a few people in a small apartment! After gifts were opened, most of the adults played cards-- but I played with my newest nephew. A happier baby I have never met, I swear.

After leftovers for dinner, it was time for us to hit the road again...

... another 3 hours of driving to get to my hometown and family... More of the whirlwind trip on the way!

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